Match Preview | Cardiff City vs. Sunderland
OPPOSITION FOCUS | IN THE DUGOUT
Sunderland’s current manager is the experienced Tony Mowbray, who was appointed in August 2022, following Alex Neil’s move to Stoke City.
During his playing career, Mowbray made a remarkable 348 league appearances for Middlesbrough, before also representing Celtic and Ipswich Town.
After a spell as caretaker manager of the latter, Mowbray’s first permanent role in management was with Hibernian, before moving to West Bromwich Albion in 2006.
His time with the Baggies was successful, as they were crowned winners of the Championship in 2008.
After a short spell with his former club Celtic, Mowbray also managed Middlesbrough and Coventry City, before moving to Blackburn Rovers in 2017.
It was there that he earned promotion for the second time in management, securing second place in League One in 2018.
Now in the hot seat at the Stadium of Light, Mowbray’s side are currently in mid-table, with aims for a late play-off push.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | KEY PLAYERS
Sunderland’s joint-top scorer this season is Scottish target man Ross Stewart, who has 11 goals to his tally. However, with the attacker ruled out for the season with an injury, the goals from the Black Cats’ wingers have been key.
Wide-man Amad Diallo, who is on loan from Manchester United, has also impressed, with a record of 11 goals and three assists.
Jack Clarke has netted ten goals so far this campaign, whilst also contributing with nine assists.
In the goalkeeping department, shot-stopper Anthony Patterson’s tally of 12 clean sheets in 40 appearances is the eighth best record in the division.
CLUB CONNECTION | MICHAEL CHOPRA
Striker Michael Chopra represented both the Bluebirds and the Black Cats during his fantastic career.
Having made the move to the Welsh capital in 2006, the attacker netted 22 league goals in his first season at the club.
His goal-scoring talent sparked the interest of newly promoted Sunderland, who signed the striker in July 2007.
Michael’s Sunderland debut was a memorable one, netting an added-time winner against Tottenham Hotspur.
After two seasons with the Black Cats, Chopra re-joined the Bluebirds on a permanent basis following two loan spells.
Just like he did at Sunderland, Michael scored on his debut, netting a brace in a 4-0 win over Scunthorpe United.
Over his career, Chopra scored 64 goals for City, while netting on eight occasions for Sunderland.
PREVIOUS MEETINGS | FIRST AND LAST
The Bluebirds’ first ever meeting with the Black Cats was back in January 1921 in a positive FA Cup campaign for City.
Fred Stewart’s side claimed a 1-0 victory in the first round thanks to a goal from George Beare.
City would go on to reach the semi-finals with wins over Brighton and Hove Albion, Southampton and Chelsea.
It was also a successful league campaign, as a second-place finish saw the Bluebirds promoted to the First Division.
Fast forward to this season and City’s previous meeting with Sunderland also resulted in a win.
In a fine away performance where City created numerous chances, Mark Harris’ 49th minute goal saw the Bluebirds claim all three points.